WHILE many mums will consider it a success if they remember to swap their slippers for shoes on the school run this is certainly not the case for Sarah Malarkey.
The single mum-of-two looks perfectly polished every time she leaves the house and wouldn’t dream of slumming it just because she’s at the school gates.
But while Sarah, 27, who lives in Glasgow with her daughters Arya, seven and Malia, ten months, sees nothing wrong with taking pride in her appearance, it seems that not everyone agrees.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Sarah says: “I know there’s a sort of expectation for mums to dress a certain way or tone down their look but I love to get glammed up.
“I am definitely one of the youngest mums in school and I quite often will wear a crop top on the school run which is out of the ordinary.
“I do feel all eyes on me and I get the odd dirty look but I can’t change what makes me feel like me.”
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Sarah loves showing off her latest glam looks on her TikTok account where she boasts almost 60,000 followers.
And self-described ‘cool mum’ Sarah recently shared a video of her school-run outfit which included a crop top cardigan as well as her perfectly polished makeup which received a mixed response with some accusing her of doing it for attention.
However, Sarah says that it couldn’t be further from the truth and she dresses for no one but herself.
“It makes me feel good about myself and if I feel good then my kids are more likely to feel good too – it makes me a better mum,” she says.
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“I am proud of the way I look.
“No hate to any other mums but I just wouldn’t feel comfortable dressing like they do.”
Sarah became pregnant at the age of 19 and split up with Arya’s dad when she was two years old.
She met Malia’s dad in 2020 but after falling pregnant the relationship broke down, however the parents have been co-parenting successfully ever since Malia’s birth.
Despite this Sarah says that she is subjected to constant abuse from trolls for no other reason than the fact she’s a single mum.
She explains: “I get so many comments from trolls all over my TikTok account, just laughing at me and making fun because I’m a single mum.
“People like to goad me and tell me that their dads have abandoned me and some are even disgusting enough to make remarks about the colour of my kids’ skin.
“They’re lucky I am so strong-minded because that could really impact someone’s mental health, it is just a constant barrage of abuse.
“They’re not even brave enough to show their faces because it’s mostly fake accounts.
“I feel like it’s important for me to stand up for myself as well as other single mums."
“I am used to it now, it is what it is and I know that people just have small minds – they have an opinion of my life but I know that they know nothing about it, they've seen a TikTok and they’ve made snap judgments.”
Sarah says that if anything her trolls have only made her more determined to speak out about her life as a single mum.
“It can of course be so draining, but it definitely makes me more defiant as a person,” she says.
“I feel like it’s important for me to stand up for myself as well as other single mums.
“People always assume I am a bit of a slut who had a couple of one night stands but I was with my eldest’s dad for three years and I co-parent with my youngest’s.
“Just because I am a single mum doesn’t mean that I have less value.”
With Sarah caring for her two daughters almost full time she says it can be difficult to strike a balance when it comes to her social life.
“All of my friends are single and they don’t have kids whereas I have the kids the majority of the time,” she says.
“If I want to let my hair down then I do have to drop the kids off at my parents, I am lucky because they’re quite accommodating but I don’t like to ask.
“I need to go out with my friends and have a social life because that is what keeps me sane.”
However, when Sarah does seize the opportunity to head out on the town, the mum police are out in force.
“I will occasionally have a drink and the mum police are so quick to jump on that,” she says.
“Every mum is different and I’m a young single person as well as being a mum.
“My kids don’t witness me drinking or going out and they’re extremely well looked after.
“There’s no point in me sitting home with ashes on my head because they’re at their dad’s.
“The problem is that I am too honest. There are so many accounts that are just for show but that’s not me.
“It’s not always perfect in our household – there’s times when it’s so hard and then there’s time when I am going to go out and enjoy myself and I don’t see a problem with that.”
While Sarah is happily single at the moment, she admits that she does want to settle down with the right man eventually, which is easier said than done.
“Dating is a real struggle for me,” Sarah admits.
“I have been discussing with my parents on how they can help me get out and start dating again.
“My kids go to bed at 7pm every night and then I am all on my own and I do wish that I had somewhere there.
“I have asked my family for help if I am going on dates so that I can actually find someone long term.
“The times when I don’t have the girls I’m out with my friends but I need to start making time for a man in my life.
“But until I meet someone I am happy parenting solo.
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“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a single mum and people seriously need to get over it.
“I am quite strong minded and my kids will never see the struggles I face bringing them up alone.”
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